Help! Ants in the kitchen.

How can I keep these guys out of here? Any suggestions on stuff to use to help keep them out? A clean kitchen doesn’t hurt I suppose.

Opinions and suggestions–IMHO.

Moved. samclem GQ moderator

Ants generally travel in paths unless they are lost. Therefore, you need to watch the ants to see where exactly they are coming from, and then seal off that entry point with either tape or glue.

I agree with DaveRaver. See too whether you can find the ants’ nest outside in the garden and then poor boiling water into it.

Another option - I bought this great ant poison from my local supermarket. It’s a liquid and you place little droplets of it along the ants’ usual path. They all start feeding on it and take it back to the nest where they kill all of the remaining ants. It worked a treat.

Get a box of Borax from the laundry section of the grocery store. Sprinkle it around all threshholds where you think they may be entering your home. Apparently the little buggers traipse through it, not and bring it back to the nest. It’s a delayed insecticide and will kill the whole nest.

It worked for me.

The bait in the little plastic containers (sold by Raid or Combat) seems safer than liquid poison.

Spraying alll the baseboards and under the sink with raid has always done the tricik for me. Also be sure to keep your sweets sealed in an air tight container.

Ditto (except I used boric acid). I found them coming in through a window sill and sprinkled it there. It took about 3 days for them to stop.

Multipronged approach.

  1. Clean everything up. No spilled food, no standing water. Use actual cleaning products (i.e. don’t just wipe up) which will get rid of the scent of food that lingers on surfaces.

  2. Keep food and garbage in containers that ants won’t find their way into. Most sealed boxes and jars and tupperware-type stuff is good. Make sure that you don’t have spills on the outside of your garbage can. Fix leaking faucets (this will save your water bill as well).

  3. Find out where they are coming in and close the gap permanently. Caulk or spackle holes, etc.

The above will really keep unwanted visitors out. Next up, DEATH TO THE SIX-LEGGED ONES!

  1. If you find a big trail of ants leading to a nest outside pour boiling soapy water in to kill 'em off.

  2. If they are still crawling around I suggest diatomaceous earth - get the kind specifically intended to kill bugs, not the kind for pool filters which has additives that are unhealthy. Your local hardware store or garden supply place will have it. You just sprinkle it where they are moving (along baseboards, under cabinets), use a cheap paintbrush to help dust it about and it kills them off (not a poison, the powder is actually sharp clay particles that destroy their exoskeleton and they dehydrate and die, like crawling through razor blades). Works great, you can vacuum it up later and it’s safe around kids and pets.

  3. I’m not much on using poisons around my house but Grant’s Ant Baits seem to have a good reputation. They take a little while (weeks) to work but I’m told that they’re really good. I’ve used them a few times myself with apparently good results.

I cribbed most of the above ideas from a syndicated columnist called The Bug Man (Richard Fagerlund I think), he’s an entomologist who writes a column on dealing with pests in a non-chemical-death way.

We’ve been having assloads of little black ants invading our kitchen on and off for the past several months. They’d show up, we’d get anal about keeping the kitchen immaculate, they’d leave for a couple weeks, we’d get a little more lenient, and they’d be back in force.

Keeping the kitchen extremely clean helps a lot, scrub down the floor, make sure there’s no residual food (especially sugar or protein) anywhere, make sure everything’s in airtight containers in your cupboards (and screw the lid on your maple syrup tight, you don’t want to find what I found when I found where all the ants were going once when I though they were gone, 32 ounces of ant-infused maple syrup…there must have been thousands).

However, the minute you let your guard down and leave some dirty dishes out for the night…sigh

We tried the Raid ant bait, they didn’t even go near it.

Yesterday, after waking up and finding ants swarming on what I was positive was a clean counter, we went to Home Depot and picked up another brand of ant bait. We got the little plastic thingies, brand name Real-Kill, active ingredient indoxacarb. It’s supposed to take out the whole colony within a week, including the queen, they carry the poison back with them. So far so good, last night they were swarming on them like they were filled with ant ambrosia, and this morning there was a constant line going back and forth between where they enter the kitchen and the baits on the counter, but since this afternoon, I haven’t seen many at all, just one or two stragglers.

Oh yeah, and if you have a swarm of them on a hard surface, spray 'em down with Windex, Kaboom, or Simple Green, it kills them (actually, Kaboom works best, Windex is slower, I haven’t personally tried Simple Green, my husband just told me it works too), and it’s better than spraying down your kitchen with pesticide. Then just wipe them up with a paper towel towel and discard.

I highly highly recommend boric powder along the cracks and crevices, underneath cabinets and by pipes. Borax isn’t as potent as the stuff Raid makes - the concentration is much higher and more likely to solve the problem.

A more natural approach to keeping them at bay is a half and half mix of water and vineager in a sprayer and go around the foundation of the house.

My mother in law swears by either corn meal or corn starch around the foundation of the house. One of them the ants eat and then it exands in their stomachs, killing them. (She heard it on a radio show that handles these kinds of Questions.)

Most importantly is to curb the crumbs and put away foods.

You can easily spray the vineager/water mix in your kitchen along the base boards.

Washing the flooring with a water/vineager mix is a good idea too. It cleans the floor and repels the ants. The smell dissapates quickly.

I use those little plastic bait thingies Every Year. I get carpenter ants, and those little baits work like a charm. And they don’t hurt the cats.

I have carpenter ants. I have tried the powder around the house and that has deterred them some, but I still see the stray one. Can you point me to one of these bait thingies? What is the real brand name?

How about if you’ve just got a conga of ants outside, in your yard or sidewalk, but not actually in your home? Any cause for concern there, or just leave 'em alone?

I think the ones we’re using this season are Combat (they’re plastic disks with holes in them). I put one on the windowsill, two on the floor, one on the counter, and one on my desk (at the complete opposite end of the house :eek: ) and within a few days, no ants.

If you have small children or pets and would like an alternative to pesticides, I have found Concern® Citrus Home Pest Control™ to repel carpenter ants, without the chemical risk. Just spray it where ever ants appear to enter; doorways, window sills, cracks and crevices. And it smells like oranges! I buy it at Agway, but most large garden centers should have it.

Following the Bush doctrine of preemptive attack, you gotta stamp 'em out before they invade your homeland!

Had ants for years. Could not get rid of them no matter what. This year I got some stuff made by a major name, I do not know if I am allowed to say it here so I won’t. It came in a gallon jug with a sprayer that you pull the handle down and then pull the trigger and it sprays. I sprayed all around the house, (Outside) focusing on the top of the foundation where the house meets the concrete. No ants so far. I think the trick is to get them on the outside. I am a owned by a dog, and the stuff I got very clearly states safe to dogs AFTER it dries. I had a son take the dog for a walk while I sprayed. It worked, dog healthy, no ants. If you want the name of the product email me.